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Housing Trend: Americans Are Improving Rather than Moving


(ARA) - Does the thought of rising real estate costs scare you? Are you comfortable in your neighborhood and dread the thought and stress of moving? Do you love your home but need to upgrade? If so, you are in the same situation as a lot of other Americans who are choosing to stay in their current homes and "improve rather than move!"

"Home values have appreciated so much in many parts of the country in recent years that to buy another home would cost too much. So a lot of people are choosing to stay put and use the equity in their homes to remodel instead," says Joan Stephens, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The agency is anticipating a big boom in home remodeling projects in 2005, and with the increasing popularity of home spas, the bathroom is expected to be one of the most popular places to start. Bathrooms built in the 1970s and 80s were so small, there's barely enough room in them for a shower and toilet, much less a luxurious bath; so these days, people are taking space away from their master bedrooms to make the bathroom bigger. And in keeping with the home spa theme, more and more often, they're replacing their old tubs with luxurious massaging air baths.

"Air baths offer a much different massage than jetted water systems do because of the way they work. Rather than directing a high pressure water jet at an area of the body, air baths create convection currents throughout the bath and massage the whole body. In addition the volume of air can be reduced to a constant stream of massaging bubbles that gently caress muscles helping them to relax. Air baths offer a full-body massage, promoting circulation and lifting the bather's spirits," says Scott Tennant of Acryline USA, a New Jersey company that specializes in massaging bath systems. The NARI is predicting 4.9 million baths will be remodeled in the United States in 2005; and that homeowners will spend an average of $10,088 to update an existing 5-by-9-foot bathroom. These days, more and more people are budgeting the majority of that money on upgraded bathing systems.

One that's getting a lot of attention from those in the remodeling industry right now is Acryline's Nirvana Bath. Just introduced at a builder's show in January 2005, the bath is designed for remodels as well as new construction. It is five-feet long, the same length as a standard bath, but features a larger recline end (42") that is shaped for two bathers. The bath tapers to the drain end to a customary width. This shape allows a remodel to include a luxury system bath without giving up any space for lavatories and sinks.

"The Nirvana is one of the most versatile baths we offer," says Tennant. "It is constructed for right or left hand installation, has a front full access panel that offers easy access to the unit's control system components, and is available in both of our system technologies, as well as our Ultimate System."

If you want a bath that offers a gentle massage, the Aquamasseur System is the way to go. It directs warm air to strategically located air injectors at the bottom and back of the bath releasing a flood of massaging bubbles for a subtle to intermediate massage. The Healthmasseur System offers an intermediate to highly vigorous massage for the very athletic or those involved in an occupation that fatigues their body on a daily basis. The Ultimate System combines the two systems allowing bathers to design their own personal bathing experience.

Tennant points out that in addition to offering more massage options than whirlpools, air baths are more sanitary. "They're easier to clean and maintain than jetted water system technology," he says.

For more information about Acryline USA's Nirvana and other massaging baths, log on to www.acrylineusa.com or call (800) 441-3990.

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